Why are antibiotics not effective for viral disease?

Because antibiotics affect certain metabolic pathways that take place in bacteria not in virus. Like antibiotic penicillin inhibit the formation of cell wall in bacteria that results in the slow death of bacteria. As virus does not have any cell wall and cellular organelles or pathways to affect on, so, antibiotics are not effective to kill them.

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Antibiotics act by blocking certain biochemical pathways which are essential for the survival of bacteria like cell wall formation, protein synthesis etc. For example: Penicillin is an antibiotic. It blocks the formation of cell wall in bacteria, which makes bacteria weak and ultimately results in death of bacteria.However, antibiotics cannot be used against viruses.This is because, viruses do not possess any cellular machinery of their own to function. In fact, they get integrated with the host cell and use machinery of the host to survive. They are non-living outside the host and they have very few biochemical pathways of their own. Hence, it is difficult to find virus-specific targets.Therefore, the antibiotics are not effectiveagainst viral infections.

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